Today’s launch of iOS 9 adds a number of new features to your iPhone and iPad devices, including 3D touch (for iPhone 6S and 6S Plus), multitasking, and new Siri, Apple Pay, Maps, and Notes features.
But if you are one of the millions of people who plays games on your iDevices, you probably want to know exactly what this update means for you and your favorite hobby. Without discussing all the entire update, we put together a list of a few things that iOS 9 adds on the gaming front.
- 3D Touch: Sure, we could get into arguments that all types of touch are happening in 3D, but that’s neither here nor there. Apple’s new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus screens can now detect different pressure readings and the amount of force behind your touch, allowing new features like Peek and Pop and Quick Actions. The screen can also now respond back to your touch with subtle taps back well. This feedback has multiple gaming applications, but it could go as far as to providing something akin to the rumble that’s been standard in consoles for years.
- ReplayKit: Gaming is all about being social these days, and developers can now use ReplayKit to let players record videos of games as they play them. They may then record voice-overs, share, and edit the video, right in the app.
- GamePlayKit: This one’s a little technical, but essentially, GamePlayKit is a collection of developer tools that create gameplay logic. Specifically, it helps with randomness, pathfinding, and advanced simulation. Ask your developer friends exactly what that means, but Apple is claiming it will make it easier to make better quality and more complex games, and that’s always a good thing.
- Model I/O: This gives developers control over how physical models are rendered in a game, and it also provides better lighting. What’s that mean?Prettier, more realistic-looking games.
- Extended battery life: Not specifically a gaming (or game development feature), but iOS 9 claims that it gives devices an extra hour of battery life. That means more time playing games and less time searching around for your phone charger. Speaking of which. …
- Game Center additions: Game Center now supports guest players, removing the previous limit of only having one player per device. Now games can have up to three players for real-time, and 15 for turn-based games, allowing for expanded local multiplayer and pass-and-play games. Games Center is also adding a unified server environment.
- SceneKit, SpriteKit, and Metal all also are getting updates as well. What does it mean to gamers? Metal means more efficient use of your phone’s CPU/GPU, leading to increased performance. SceneKit and SpriteKit power 3D and 2D games, respectively, which means better looking games on the horizon.
- Apple’s new gaming-focused Twitter account: Sure, it may not be a dedicated feature of iOS 9, but it does show that Apple is serious about its devices as gaming platforms, and is going to communicate that via social media.
Digging iOS 9? Don’t miss out on the rest of our coverage of Apple’s latest OS right here.